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New bhoy Luca explains a mystery

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Luca Connell has explained the mystery of his first name and ruled out a possible call up by the Azurri.

The teenager joined Celtic on Saturday on a four year deal and watched his new team-mates in their 2-1 victory over Wiener later in the day.

Connell has a broad Scouse accent but his first name is all about a former Sampdoria and Juventus hero of his dad rather than a bloodline going back to Genoa or Turin.

The story behind my name is quite simple, my dad’s favourite player when he was growing up was Gianluca Vialli,” he told The Sun. “So it just came from there, really. That’s how I got it.

My dad, Andrew, loved Vialli. He was playing for Italy at the time and my dad loved Italy. My full name is Luca John Andy Connell. It’s quite plain in the middle, isn’t it?”

After a dozen games for Bolton Connell freed himself from his Scholar contract with the club in administration and facing an uncertain future.

His rise to prominence since the turn of the year earned him a call up to the full Ireland international squad with England also interested in his future.

Declan Rice’s decision to ditch Ireland for England despite playing in full international friendlies was a blow for Mick McCarthy but there seems little reason to think that Connell will defect after starting out in the Ireland u-17 side.

My mum’s parents — my nan and grandad — are both from Dublin,” he added. “That’s how I qualify for Ireland and they are Celtic fans.

I spoke to Mick McCarthy and Robbie Keane — they’ve both had the experience of playing for Celtic.

They both talked highly of the club and couldn’t fault it, so that gave me another reason to put pen to paper.”

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